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Cash cow fattens the White House
Tuesday, 15 September 2020 11:25
Special to the Daily Planet

I remember the night my father came home carrying a wooden box. My mother locked the door and darkened the front rooms. Daddy took the box to their bedroom and put it under the bed.

It was the ballot box from our polling place. Don’t ask me how he came to have it.  I don’t know. But I do know why he had it and hid it: the Cracker Party.  

The Crackers had run our city since the early 1920s, with total power, even a strong alliance with Georgia’s governor, Eugene Talmadge. Then, that night in 1946, when Daddy brought home the ballot box, they went down with a thud.

I’ve heard it said that the Cracker Party’s downfall started at a high school football game. A fight broke out, it seems, and there were no police to keep it becoming a brawl.  A citizen wrote a letter to the newspaper asking, “Where were the police Friday night?” He further asked about a rumor – that the police had been out working on a lake house belonging to Public Safety Commissioner “Big John” Kennedy. Well, Big John had the man arrested. Criminal justice in our city assumed that everybody has something in their past. But the man in question had nothing worse than scoutmaster and Sunday school teacher. Kennedy tried to release him, but the man wouldn’t go. He had his teeth in their leg.

Enough was enough. Various elements of the city came together in the Independent Party – still Democrat, of course, but united to throw the bums out. And they did.

My father, a one-and-done political activist, apparently volunteered our house as a place the Crackers wouldn’t look for the ballot box. That one election, he was part of something big, something necessary. It bothered him, I think, that greedy men in high office were serving themselves and their cronies and not ordinary people like us.


Crackerism and Trumpism

Cracker Party corruption was big time for the period, but it was Little League compared with the Trump administration.

Trump’s presidency has been his big fat cash cow. He kept his business interests, you see, and he’s openly used them to maximum advantage. He raised the fees for members at his clubs. And he visits them on weekends, bringing along staff and Secret Service, all paying the innkeeper.  Ka-ching, suckers. 

His life before White House left nobody surprised that his picks for government offices would be people of his inclination.  Scott Pruitt in EPA used a private email account to keep in touch with industry cronies and lived in D.C. for $50 a month in a lobbyist’s condo. VA Secretary David Shulkin took his wife and an entourage on a nine-day frolic in Europe that included free Wimbledon tickets. 

The cash cow is mooing loud in the Forbes Magazine article, “How Donald Trump Moved Millions From His Campaign Donors To His Private Business.”  The old Cracker Party were clumsy beginners.

My father’s Independent Party won against an entrenched, often-violent gang.  Now it’s our turn. Trump is a one-man gang, with a collection of obedient underlings who have leased out their souls to gain him a second term.  

We can’t let it happen. Our country’s future depends on us.. 

Voter intensity was obviously very high in 1946. We see that same intensity now, especially among those who want the bums gone. New voter registrations favor Democrats in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. As of Sept. 2, more than 2.6 million voters have asked for absentee ballots in North Carolina6 – 52 percent Democrat, 16 percent Republican, 31 percent Unaffiliated. In 2016 at this point, only 38,000 ballots had been requested.

Relevant footnote: When the Cracker Party lost in 1946, they left office. (The Republican National Committee has just set out a call for lawyers, retired lawyers and law students. Hmm.). 
Lee Ballard is a published semanticist and lexicographer who lives in Mars Hill.




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